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In U.S., 'tip fatigue' raises questions about sacrosanct habit

44 Comments
By Léa DAUPLE

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44 Comments
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My first time America, all these years ago, I remember tipping felt like being robbed.

Staff reminded us always that we should tip.

That to me was very odd.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

In order not to cough up, the customer must deliberately click on the "no tip" button.

Actually, on many screens (including the one in the article picture) the is no "no tip" button.

In such cases you must elusively go to through the option of choosing your own tip value and then enter $0.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

To solve this tipping dilemma, watch Mr. Pink explain why he doesn't tip the waitress on Reservoir Dogs.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

When tipping becomes one of the reasons why people refrain from getting something then it is working in the opposite direction than intended. In the US is completely out of control and eventually it may hurt more than help the industries that embrace it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The practice started out over 100 years for services beyond the call of duty, like a waiter running down the street to return an umbrella forgotten by a departing customer. It has since morphed into a monster, long losing any rationale.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I hate tipping. Either include the tip in the price, or offer an absolute minimum service that does not require tipping at all.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Wealthy Americans saved a lot of money during the pandemic so shops are trying to find ways to get that money off them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Having lived in Japan for my entire adult life, I do not understand tipping at all. I wish they would just charge the total amount in the bill instead of making the customer guess how much they should pay.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

as it often makes up the bulk of the waiter's salary.

But, but, but if we (the employer) raise the waiters wages to at least the legal minimum per hour of those non waiters jobs, "we'll have to raise all the prices on the menu..."

Tipping culture is it is done in US is the worst. It's nothing but brainwasing and entitlement.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Many restaurant servers in the USA are paid less than half the minimum wage. This practice is codified in the law, because it is expected that they will be paid tips. Without tips, they could not survive, and would not work in those establishments.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The last time I was in New York, I paid for a $1,500 meal for two and did not tip. The waiter harassed me about it. The manager came out and profusely apologized and I said the meal was overpriced to begin with, the service was slow and the aged ribeye was not cooked to a “blue” standard. I got a free meal. Gotta love America! Never would happen at a Michelin star restaurant in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm repulsed at the @15% service charge in most restaurants in Europe.

I have no problem tipping 15-20% in a US restaurant, where the food prices are lower, portions are larger, and quality as good.

I get fatigue from Japan with their table charge and 800 yen bread basket or whatever they throw at you to go along with overpriced tiny portions.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Tips are voluntary. Not law! If you wanna pay a tip for food service. Great! If you’ve got enough to go out but want to cut back on tips.fine! But really the shop shouldn’t expect to pay cheap wages in the hope that customers will tip. Pay your staff a livable wage. And let the customer choose to tip.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

GaijinjlandToday 01:29 pm JST

The last time I was in New York, I paid for a $1,500 meal for two and did not tip. The waiter harassed me about it. The manager came out and profusely apologized and I said the meal was overpriced to begin with, the service was slow and the aged ribeye was not cooked to a “blue” standard. I got a free meal. Gotta love America! Never would happen at a Michelin star restaurant in Japan.

Outstanding! What restaurant was it? May have to go there! As one person in the article said, it's not a great system. It's a terrible one. I'm not tipping for a service they have to perform as a part of their job but will tip if their service, banter, etc is good. However, they need to just add it to the bill and stop this ridiculousness.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What table charge in Japan?

Japanese portions are made for Japanese people.

I prefer the no-tipping as in Japan.

I'm shocked when in the US people expect a tip even for bad food or bad service. Tips in the hotel, the bar, room cleaning, and taxis. It is endless.

In Japan, the main point of going out to eat is the food.  In America, it is usually more expensive to eat out. Many restaurants focus on taste and increasing the experiential aspect of their offering. The food is obviously important when going out to eat but it is more about the experience of eating than it is the actual food. This often leads to less healthy options being available.

https://medium.com/@snw0980/dining-differences-going-out-to-eat-in-japan-f06e085c665a

Many Americans overeat.

41.8% of Americans are obese. 3.6% of Japanese are obese.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

wallaceToday  01:57 pm JST

What table charge in Japan?

The table charge in Japan that is called お通し (o-toushi). Anyone living in Japan is aware of this chatrge.

At the same time, this mandatory fee is also called a service fee (サービス料 in some restaurants, and is 10-12% usually.

I'm shocked when in the US people expect a tip even for bad food or bad service. Tips in the hotel, the bar, room cleaning, and taxis. It is endless.

I'm shocked too, and the tip is not required. Unlike the mandatory service fee at some restaurants in Japan.

Try not paying that, and see what happens.

 In America, it is usually more expensive to eat out.

No. I'm American, you're not.

Many Americans overeat. 

41.8% of Americans are obese. 3.6% of Japanese are obese.

British overeat too, which is baffling considering the quality of their restaurant food compared to the US'.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The table charge in Japan that is called お通し (o-toushi). Anyone living in Japan is aware of this chatrge.

In bars and the like where the main thing is drinking. I've never come across otoushi in a normal, have-yer-dinner kind of restaurant. The higher end may have a service /table charge, but not necessarily.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RKL

it is totally irrelevant that you are an American. In the G7 group the US has the highest obesity rate.

Otoshi or tsukidashi in Kansas is usually only in drinking places.

Service charge 10-15% but not in all places. usually included except hotels.

tax yes. 10% many include in the price.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

cleoToday  03:54 pm JST

In bars and the like where the main thing is drinking. I've never come across otoushi in a normal, have-yer-dinner kind of restaurant. The higher end may have a service /table charge, but not necessarily.

Drinking need not be the main thing though. I've been to restaurants where the bread is charged at 800yen. So whatever you want to call it, it is a mandatory charge thrown onto the bill. It exists.

*The key here is alcohol. It’s usually served in bars and restaurants where you can buy alcohol.*

https://thetokyotourist.com/table-charge-japan/

The higher end may have a service /table charge, but not necessarily

Another example (though I wouldn't call Wolfgang high-end):

10% service charge will be added to your bill.  お会計の際、上記表示価格にサービス料10%を加算させていただきます。

https://wolfgangssteakhouse.jp/menu/pdf/O_course.pdf

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Wolfgang are expensive for daily dining.

You can enjoy Kobe beef for less.

The service charge should really be given to the staff. My uncle at a private golf club in New Jersey ensured his staff got all the tips and extra charges. He took nothing for himself. Huge silver wedding with hundreds of guests. Very big tips.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

wallaceToday  04:02 pm JST

it is totally irrelevant that you are an American.

It is totally relevant when being qualified to compare restaurant prices in the US with those in Japan.

Otoshi or tsukidashi in Kansas is usually only in drinking places.

Suddenly, your memory came back as to table charges in Japan.

Wolfgang are expensive for daily dining.

Not for everyone.

You can enjoy Kobe beef for less.

No. And the service charge in the good restaurants can be 20%.

The service charge should really be given to the staff.

It's not, in Japan.

My uncle at a private golf club in New Jersey ensured his staff got all the tips and extra charges. He took nothing for himself. Huge silver wedding with hundreds of guests. Very big tips.

My uncle at a private golf club in Surrey pays exorbitant restaurant fees there.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don’t go to smoky drinking places.

You can enjoy the best Kobe beef for less than ¥10,000.

This is where I go

https://www.mouriya.co.jp/en/menu

I also arrange dinners parties there from time to time. Usually doctor groups of up to 20.

10% service charge. Tax included. No table charges.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What they call a *tip" in the US/Canada is actually a regressive tax. Just refuse to pay it and save yourself up to 20%.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

o-toushi is not a straight forward table charge since you receive something for it.

Unlike in countries in France and Italy where there are separate charges for standing at the bar, sitting inside and sitting outside.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wallaceToday  04:33 pm JST

You can enjoy the best Kobe beef for less than ¥10,000.

This is where I go 

https://www.mouriya.co.jp/en/menu

Went there for lunch 2 summers ago. It was good.

Although A5 at dinner time would be pricey.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've been to restaurants where the bread is charged at 800yen

'Some places do it' doesn't make it the norm everywhere.

I wouldn't call Wolfgang high-end

Never heard of it, obviously never been there, but looking at the menu you linked to, two things strike me:

It's catering mainly to foreigners; the language is English first, then Japanese in much smaller lettering.

With set meals starting at 14,960 per person plus tax, you obviously enjoy a much more expensive eating-out experience than I do :-) (though with not a single veggie option in sight, in fact no options, it's not a place I would want to eat in, even if someone else was paying).

I'll stick with my local family-run Italian place, where the bread comes free and you pay what's written on the menu, no added charges. And the food is darn good.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yeah, restaurants used to pay meagerly hourly rates, so I understand. But those days are gone. Teenagers are making $22/hr to start now at Wendy’s. A server at a high end restaurant is a $100,000+ per year job.

The point is now it seems every business in the US is trying to shame you into tipping.

Tip the dog groomer, tip the bag boy at the supermarket, tip the McDonald’s woman handing you a tray, tip the person handing you a paper cup at Starbucks, tip the donut shop people, pick up take-out food and get shamed into tipping, tip the barber who does a lousy job, tip the politician to get a rezoning passed… :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

cleoToday  04:44 pm JST

'Some places do it' doesn't make it the norm everywhere.

Nobody wrote "it's the norm everywhere".

Never heard of it, obviously never been there, but looking at the menu you linked to, two things strike me:

It has spots in several countries. Kind of like world famous.

I'll stick with my local family-run Italian place, where the bread comes free and you pay what's written on the menu, no added charges. And the food is darn good.

No one's holding a gun to your head.

Have a nice lunch at this Italian restaurant.

You pay what is written on the menu too---JPY6000--oh!!--the service charge is incorporated into the price.

Otherwise known as "hidden".

https://sabatini-tokyo.com/course/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

From the time you wake up in your American hotel room to the moment you return, it’s tips all the way.

Possible to find many good and less expensive restaurants. In New York I like the Indian ones best.

What I dislike in Japan is the hotel room charge paid by each person.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wallaceToday  05:06 pm JST

From the time you wake up in your American hotel room to the moment you return, it’s tips all the way.

I just went through the same in Thailand.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I'm repulsed at the @15% service charge in most restaurants in Europe.

Conceptually yes, but I haven't come across a 15% service charge in Europe. In the UK restaurants try to add in 12.5% to the bill as optional (as opposed to the customary 10% that people traditionally left).

But in response to your post, I have just checked a number of sites and for those countries where tipping is allowed (in some it isn't), the normal amount is 10%, with some being 5%.

Your claim of 15% appears to be fictional, unless it is in some touristy restaurants popular with Americans.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Although A5 at dinner time would be pricey.

When I take a group I don't pay.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I just went through the same in Thailand.

I believe this. I’ve never been there but I can imagine you had all kinds of unexpected expenses and surprises.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bob FosseToday  06:54 pm JST

I believe this. I’ve never been there but I can imagine you had all kinds of unexpected expenses and surprises.

Absolutely to all.

Highly recommended.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tipping is dying out in UK as everyone has the minimum wage or the higher living wage. Tipping is mostly confined to the better restaurants and some of them have a service charge already included in bill. Also as cash is dying out if you give an electronic tip there's a good chance the workers will not receive it.

The USA should pay their servers a proper wage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thailand is a great visit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Highly recommended.

How would you compare it to your experiences paying for similar services in the UK?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Things servers do for me, I'll tip i.e. waiters, maids, taxis, bellhops. Things that are basically self-serve where I walkup to counters to order at cafes, fast food joints - no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wallace,at least American eat,I do not eat out,so I do not tip,I give all the employees,in stores I visit little stuff ,such as food,and give them lottery tickets

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I find tipping to be ghastly and vulgar, pleased they don’t have that nonsense in Japan. If you can’t pay your staff a decent wage/salary then don’t operate a business.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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